4/3/09

Rodent Infestation Closes Pikesville Target


Dead Rodents, Chewed Bags Found In Store
April 2, 2009


PIKESVILLE, Md. -- The Target store on Reisterstown Road in Pikesville has been closed until further notice because of a rodent problem. The Maryland Department of Environmental Protection shut down the store because it was infested with mice and other rodents. Baltimore County officials said the store had a problem at its snack bar in February, but it has since spread to the entire store.

Customers told 11 News they tried to shop at the store, but a manager was there all day Thursday to turn them away with no clear reason as to why the store was closed.

Customers were turned away from the Target in Pikesville due to a rodent problem. Some said they were told the store was doing maintenance. One woman told 11 News the store told her it was a water main problem. "This is really very strange," said customer Judy Schwartz.

Jonas Jacobson, of the Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Resource Management, said his office got an anonymous complaint at the end of March.

"We went out and found a much larger mouse infestation problem through the store," he said. Jacobson said rodent carcasses and feces were strewn throughout the store. He said pet food bags and human food containers were also chewed open.

Store managers wouldn't answer 11 News' questions Thursday, but the store's corporate office confirmed the problem. "We are working to clean up the store to prevent future problems and will work with Baltimore County to remedy the situation." - Target Corp.

"We acknowledge this is unacceptable. We are working to clean up the store to prevent future problems and will work with Baltimore County to remedy the situation," the corporation said in a statement.

The county said Target has taken many steps to rid the store of the problem, including setting traps, using pesticides and doing a wall-to-wall cleaning of the store.

"They're going to be submitting an integrated pest management plan, so they're taking action to eliminate the problem, and as soon as we're satisfied the problem has been dealt with, they will be allowed to reopen," Jacobson said.

Store officials said they're hoping to reopen late Friday, but county officials said it may take until next week to clean up the problem.

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